Sean Finnerty trekked home alone after catching the bus home. His wife had the family car to take the kids from and to school and to catch her classes at the community college to further her life. Sean didn't mind the walk to the pub he owned with his lazy brother, but his attitude was better in the morning than at night. In the morning, he was always bustling to see the Red Boot Pub busy with customers and plenty of beers, but at night, after a hard day of some activity and as little as eighteen customers for the day, he was surly, angry at the world and cursing at whatever fate had in store for him. Sean worked hard for the little he got while his shiftless brother with his numerous covert deals and shady business schemes slid by with as little responsibility as possible.
His patience over his family's future weighing on his mind, Sean hastened his step as he hopped up on to the curb of his block of his neighborhood. A deep sigh from his lungs, a tired groan from his soul and a hastened walk past the O'Keefe house, he ambled past the front gate of his white two-story frame house and hopped up on the front porch. His hand checked to see if the front door was unlocked. He twisted the knob and it turned undeterred as he pushed forward and entered his house. First thing he saw was Eddie, his brother, who went to the bank and never returned back to the pub.
"Wait… who is that?" Sean started his usual game of over-acting histrionics. "You look so familiar…"
Eddie rolled his eyes from the football game on the television to his brother's annoyed theatrics.
"Oh, wait…" Sean continued. "Could you possibly be my brother? The one who turned our receipts over to the bank and never returned?!"
"You know you got a little vein in your forehead that's throbbing." Eddie nonchalantly underplayed his brother's anger by trying to distract him from the issue.
"I know about the vein!" Sean was pulling off his jacket to toss into the chair. "Where have you been, Eddie?"
"Busy?" Sean stared at him in disbelief. Filled with disdain and annoyed innocence, Eddie just tilted back a beer can to his lips and sipped its contents. Utterly disconnected from the feelings of his brother, he just pretended his brother was not around as he freeloaded on the surroundings and advantages of his Sean's home. From the kitchen, Sean's wife, Claudia, a busty beauty of brown-eyed female womanhood, came strolling forward carrying a laundry basket of fresh clean clothes as she made this house a home. Clad in a t-shirt to keep her brother-in-law from ogling her cleavage and sweatpants, she kissed her husband to welcome him home.
"How long as he been here?" Sean turned to her sitting in the easy chair to separate the clean laundry.
"He was here when I got home with the kids."
"Did you even go to the bank, Eddie?!"
"I covered the bank!" Eddie annoyingly settled the debate and controversy at which he was in the center. "I met a cute little redhead and took her to lunch." He sipped his beer again. "By the way, I can't go home for a while. It seems she may have got the idea I work for the CIA from somewhere."
Sean and Claudia shared a look of annoyed disbelief.
"Where would she get that idea, Eddie?" Claudia asked the stupid question that would place her in the unwanted position of being forced to cover up his lies.
"Probably when we were having sex at her place…" Eddie reacted indifferent to his own improper behavior. "I don't know where these things come from." His brother and sister-in-law grumbled at his audacity for deceit.
"Sean, I didn't feel like cooking…" Claudia looked up with a toss of her hair. "I ordered a pizza for you and the kids."
"I got the last piece." Eddie didn't look up from the football on the TV. If he could look up, he would see Claudia snarling at him and Sean fighting a compulsion to choke the life out of him. His hands shaking out of restrained anger, Sean could only picture beating his brother to an inch of his life for years of annoying disrespect and indifference to his life. He wanted to really kill at times, but another restrained breath and Sean fought off those homicidal urges once again.
"Don't worry about it…" Sean exasperatingly twisted his own neck tiredly. "I got a cheap hamburger on the walk home."
"We got some lasagna left." Claudia continued separating laundry in the form of her kids' clothes from towels and mismatched pillow covers. Sean remembered that lasagna from the night before and bolted through the dining room for the kitchen.
"Oh gosh…" Eddie shook and wavered his head. "I think I ate that too."
Her eyes narrowed angrily, Claudia thought a second about smacking Eddie around herself. A snarled growl from her gritted teeth, she pictured him being shot for one of his shady deals and continued folding laundry. A dishtowel, a mismatched sock, she pulled out several of her teenage daughter's g-strings and looked toward she was placing the girl's clean clothes and noticed something amiss from the pre-sorted clothes.
"Eddie," She looked around. "Did you see a pink bra there a second ago?"
"No." Eddie sipped his drink.
"It was there on top of Lily's blue jeans with her clothes."
"Lily's?" Eddie reacted. "I thought it was one of yours." He pulled the missing bra from his back pocket.
"Sean, I was right!!!" Claudia began screaming. "Eddie's been the one stealing my underwear!" Sean came running from the kitchen angry, hostile and pushed to the brink of insanity. Eddie heard him coming and launched to his feet to protect himself.
"I don't know where she's getting this!" He claimed.
"I threatened Brad O'Keefe because of you!!" Sean confessed with a bit of embarrassed guilt over harassing the neighbor boy. "Eddie, how much more disgusting can you get?!"
"I don't understand the question." Eddie responded as Claudia rolled her eyes offended and disgraced. When she looked again, Sean was grabbing his brother by the collar and belt and was dragging him to the door. Lily was coming in at that moment to open the door for him and watch her Uncle Eddie tossed out of the house. She was not a captivating beauty, but she was an attractive young lady of seventeen with a subdued sexuality about her, unyielding dark green eyes and short red hair cut short at her shoulders. Her fashion-style was currently restricted to Catholic School Girl: a red plaid skirt and vest with a white blouse. Though she had the potential look of the girl she wanted to be, her personality was classic hostile teenager with restrained enmity toward her parents and a mind for coming up with schemes to push the boundaries of her restrictions. Her father tossed her uncle off the front stoop and turned round a bit out of breath to slam the front door to him.
"We have to change the locks again." Claudia replied.
"What good does it do?" Sean groused tiredly annoyed. "He keeps getting back in!" He seemed to notice his daughter for the first time. "Why are you out so late?"
"I was studying at Renee's…"
"Hanging out…" Lily changed her answer. "Her sister came home from college and was telling us about her co-ed dorm." She delayed a bit thinking about the circumstances of living there. "I think I want to go to that college."
"With what?" Claudia chuckled a bit at her. "We spent your college tuition on the new roof for the house."
"What about the money grandpa was putting into an account for me?" Lily followed her mother to the kitchen in back of the house.
"We had to borrow from that to fix the damage Jimmy and Henry did to the basement." Sean recalled his sons' damage to the waterline that flooded the basement.
"Well…" Lily reacted a bit scared as she rescued a bottle of water from the refrigerator to drink. "What do I have in my college tuition?"
"Uh…." Sean and Claudia looked at each other in nervous apprehension.
"You know, honey…" Sean took his daughter by his side and pulled her lovingly close. "There is nothing wrong with a good community college."
"Community college??!" Lily screeched unable to believe her ears. "What if I got a scholarship?"
"With your grades?" Claudia chuckled a bit as she wiped down the wood counter. By her right side, Jimmy and Henry were innocuously strolling into the house. Jimmy was all of fourteen years of aged with uncombed brown hair.
"You creeps are the fault I don't have a life!" She screeched toward them, turned with a bratty sneer to her face and charged unyielding up the back steps of her house. A second more and a bedroom door slammed.
"What'd we do now?" Jimmy asked a few steps behind the events happening around him.
"Lily's just now discovering that she may not make college." Seam mused over his search for food in the house.